Author Topic: Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival  (Read 403 times)

On The Edge of Insanity

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Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« on: June 06, 2003, 01:14:01 PM »
Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
Columbia Music
1997


After the release of the Score in 1996, the whole world was waiting for the Fugee members to drop their solo efforts. The first member to release their solo was Wyclef in 1997, with the release of The Carnival. This greatly anticipated album had two very successful singles in the form of "Gone Til November" and his cover of the Bee Gees track Stayin Alive entitled "We Trying To Stay Alive". But how was the rest of the album?

Intro

Apocalypse - the first track on the album, and Wyclef starts proceedings with a great statement of intent:
"Arrival of the carnival, new beats I never recycle, you looking for samples you may get trampled"
Wyclef actually comes pretty tight on this track, over a dope laid back style beat based around a sample of a women singing ah to herself over and over, which actually works really well. Basically this is a dope start to the album. 4/5

Guantanamera (feat Lauren Hill) - this track was released as a single from the album, but didn't receive as much attention as the other two singles. This is basically a nice laid back, Latin style track with a dope sample of Celia Cruz acting as the chorus. Wyclef reminisces about a night out with a Spanish women to great effect, and the vocal inserts by both Celia Cruz and Jeni Fujita make this track that much doper. Lauren Hill drops by for a verse which is dope as ever, and overall this is another really dope track. 4.5/5

Pablo Diablo Interlude

Bubblegoose (feat Melky Sedeck) - this track is a tale about someone getting kidnapped and Wyclef having to try and save them as he walks through the city. Wyclef sounds great on the hook to the track, and although his lyrics aren't exactly that complexed he does tell a story really well, which makes this track all the more listenable. Melky Sedeck doesn't actually really do much on this track other than say her own name once so why she is really said to be featured on the track is unknown to me. For the final chorus, Wyclef brings in another guitar which became the main instrument in the remix that appeared on the South Park Soundtrack, which makes the track sound even better. 4.5/5

Prelude To All The Girls

To All The Girls - this track is about Clef confessing to all the girls that he has ever cheated on. The beat is pretty tight, especially the bass guitar which really keeps the beat moving along nicely. Once again, Clef's ability to tell a story shines through on this track, and even though it isn't as good as the other tracks so far on the album it is still pretty tight. 3.5/5

Down Lo Ho Interlude

Anything Can Happen - this track has a very nice laid back style beat once more. The title of this track says it all really with Clef rapping about what can happen to you if you are not careful, once again through a story, this time of him going to the park. I really like the drums on this track, which sound real familiar, but no samples are listed so I suppose they must just be similar to something else. Anyway, this is really just a good track, nothing more, nothing less. 3/5

Gone Til November - this song was the more successful single from the album, talking about going away from your family to make money for a few months. This track is real laid back, with Clef showing his obvious singing talent on this track. The lyrics are changed from the released single but are still as tight as ever. This track is really just pure class, with the orchestra in the background just adding to the dopeness, to make this in my opinion a classic track. 5/5

Words Of Wisdom (Interlude)

Year Of The Dragon (feat Lauren Hill) - this track has a really dope opening which really gets you hyped for the start of the track. The track itself is basically based around Clef and Lauren exchanging verses over an above average beat. Although it is nice to see these two showing their chemistry again on a track, this isn't really that great a song, and is really just plain average. 3/5

Sang Fezi (feat Lauren Hill) - after the slight disappointment of their collaboration on the last track, this track more than makes up for it. The beat is just straight dope, with an obvious French influence to it, shown further by the fact that all of Clef's raps on this track are in French, and so is the hook. Obviously, I have no idea what Clef is actually saying on this track, but his flow sounds tight, and the hook is pretty tight. However, Lauren Hill steals the show on this track with an amazing verse of singing which really showed the talent that she later let the whole world see on her own solo effort. Her section really is beyond words and helps to elevate this track from very good to classic in my opinion. 5/5

Fresh Interlude
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 01:17:24 PM by Waitin For The Daz Album »
 

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2003, 01:15:01 PM »
Mona Lisa (feat The Neville Brothers) - the fact that this track features the Neville Brothers basically tells you that this is going to be a very soulful type track, and you won't be disappointed. This joint really is straight lay back and chill to material, the soul in their voices is so soothing, and the whole track is just pure dopeness. For the main part Clef himself doesn't really do that much other than interpolate a few spoken words, and I think he also does some of the backing singing, especially on the bit that sounds a bit more reggae influenced. But overall, you really cannot front on this track, pure classic. 5/5

Street Jeopardy (feat John Forte, R.O.C) - no that isn't the ROC as in the record label, it's the rapper who I believe is currently signed to Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label. Having that over with, the track itself is pretty dope. The track is basically based around life in the streets. Clef comes dope, as does John Forte which sort of makes you realise that he was actually pretty dope, and hopefully when he is released from prison he will hook up with Clef again. R.O.C actually sounds much better on this track than he has on any of the track I have heard him on since this track, and performs very well. Overall, however this is just another above average track. 3.5/5

Killer M.C. Interlude

We Trying To Stay Alive (feat John Forte and Pras) - ok, so this track does sample the Bee Gees, and yes that does mean that you get perhaps the most high pitched vocals in the history of pop on the chorus (Justin Timberlake aside), but actually this track isn't as bad as you might have expected. There is no denying that this track is funky as hell, and the way in which the Refugee Camp rappers flow over the beat actually make this is a dope track. Out of them all, Clef does actually stand out simply because he seems to have complete authority over the track at all times, and even though John Forte and Pras do both come dope, he rules the roost on this track. Overall this is actually pretty dope. 4/5

Gunpowder - a complete change of pace for this next track. This track is a straight laid back Reggae track, which Wyclef actually manages to pull off to perfection. Once again, this track is telling a story, this time about his brother who has been killed. Whilst Clef does perform exceptionally well on this track, a lot of the props for the dopeness of this track has to go to the excellent background harmonies from Lauren Hill and the legendary I Threes who include Rita Marley. In fact, this track is the sort of thing that the great Bob Marley himself would have been proud of, and that says it all really. 5/5

Closing Arguments Interlude

Enter The Carnival Interlude

Jaspora - as you can probably tell from the title, this track is once again in another language, which I believe is once again French. It does actually sound sort of mid 90s reggae esque in a way especially the guitar used on the track, as is pretty good but doesn't really stand out. 3/5

Yele (feat Lauren Hill, Joel Sevius) - the penultimate track on the album, and this really is a great track to chill to once more. Once again, I have no idea what Wyclef is actually singing about but it still sounds dope, and the laid back musical arrangement really makes the track. Joel Sevius also sings well on this track but I can't actually find why Lauren Hill is listed as featuring on this track, because there doesn't appear to be a female lead voice throughout the whole track, so I suppose she must be doing some of the backing singing. 4/5

Carnival - the final track on the album, and once again it is in French. The pace of this track changes about 40 seconds in and it turns into a more up tempo Reggae type flavoured track. It basically just seems to be celebration of the album, although I don't know what they are singing about, that is the vibe I get from the beat and the way in which they sing it. This is pretty tight, and is a pretty good way to finish the album.
3.5/5

Overall, this album really did surprise me when I first listened to it. I was actually expecting more of a sound reminisant of the Fugees album The Score, but that was certainly not what I got here. However, despite it not being at all what I expected I thought that this album was really dope, and showed the immense talent of Wyclef, both as a producer alongside Jerry Duplessis, but also as a varied singer, who can also rhyme pretty well at the same time. Although he is hardly going to win any awards for lyrical dexterity, he knows how to tell a story through his lyrics and that is what makes him very listenable throughout the whole album. I have to say that I actually preferred Wyclef in laid back mood throughout this album, and although there were a few average tracks on this album, for the most part Clef managed to pull off his vision to perfection. This is actually one of my favourite non G Funk albums to play in the summer because it just has that sort of vibe to it, and if only Wyclef had continued down this road on his following solo albums then he would have been much doper than he is at the moment. Yo, Clef, get back to this vibe on your next album ok, no more of that Tom Jones covering bull ok?

Overall 9.5/10

KVB

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2003, 11:17:42 PM »
Good review. I was just bumping this album yesterday and it's good no doubt, I think you overrated it a bit though. I would give it 3.5 mics, dope but nothing exceptional. I actually prefer "The Ecleftic" to this one, that was better and more accessible, IMO.

Anyway tight review, I enjoyed reading it. * Props
 
 

Don Breezio

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2003, 10:38:28 PM »
damn dude really? i think this is the best wyclef album by far. i can listen to every single track including the skits and be totally content. i love every song. given yes, ecleftic was good...almost as good...but i still like this one a bit better...i would say masquerade is definetely my least favorite but i like that cd too.
 

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2003, 02:49:10 PM »
damn, thanks for the review man 8)
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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2003, 01:37:08 PM »
i think every1 should own this cd

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2003, 10:32:07 AM »
i think every1 should own this cd

Yep. I was actually pretty suprised with this cd... I turned out to be really good, my favourite tracks are "Guantanamera" "To all the girls" and "street Jeopardy".


overall id give this an 8/10...
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Don Breezio

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2003, 09:36:50 PM »
"street Jeopardy".


dopest track...i love that song...it blew me away when i heard it the first time.
 

Black_Smoke

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Re:Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2003, 02:19:06 AM »



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